Trump pardons promise the sleazy ‘total immunity’ escape-hatch that courts defy 

What smart primary candidates stumble into self-destructive mode, immune from knowing smart pandering from dumb pandering.

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Who needs law, juries, and the Constitution when dumping bad law, bad logic, and bad politics?

For months a ludicrous ex-president has paraded the preposterous claim of total immunity, that being crowned president hands him the “freedom” to defy the law – without consequence. Like God, this immunized president resides not only beyond the law but beyond accountability. If the Supreme Court endorses total immunity (IMO unthinkable), Trump would thus corrupt the judicial branch as unholy partner – behold the Dictator-in-chief. Literally – and longer than one day. Rerun coup attempt, anyone? 

But premature, loaded DeSantis and Haley pardons (if elected!) are mired in B.S., contradictions and lawless consequences that would simply enable Trump’s autocratic poison. A knee-jerk pardon promise (mere primary pandering to Trump voters) would condone a calculated scheme way beyond one violent insurrection: we’re talking a months-long, seditious betrayal of everything good about majority rule, election law, and presidential legitimacy. So much for any democratic hatches worth battening down. If Trump is not re-elected (otherwise opening the ultimate corruption of pardoning himself, in theory), creepy pardons long after the fact free him from all federal criminality, demeaning our justice system with a whopping F grade. If special, self-selected people are beyond the law, the glue that binds our stability is blown apart.

Aside from the desperate pandering, what hopeful “worthy” recklessly and ignorantly guarantees a pardon BEFORE the endless trials, before we know the magnitude of the crimes – let alone convictions and sentences. What credible candidate leaps into the dark by pledging an outlaw action without a clue to any details? Why not equally promise to banish climate change or unilaterally solve immigration or Covid? Isn’t this the massive logical fallacy of assuring the outcome before the experiment even starts? It’s only more Trumpian fallout that defies common sense, civic order, and prudent jurisprudence. 

Immunity by any other name

So much for candidates betraying the core presidential role – to fairly execute the law and support the Constitution – long before any putative oath of office. Stacks of evidence already prove that Trump’s oath is less lawful deterrent than lever for criminality. Were scoffers of justice like DeSantis or Haley empowered, what stops them from justifying their law-breaking – as long as the next sycophant saves their ass? If anything goes for Trump, then anything goes for others, a democracy-ending precedent. Here’s a slippery slope with an automatic safety catch. When does open defiance of the Constitution (and more) justly disqualify any candidate stupid (or ignorant) enough to make such an absurd commitment? When does conspiratorial protection of blatant criminals justify disqualification? 

Recall double-jeopardy bans wherein one can’t be indicted for the same crime after being acquitted. Now America must confront the similar evil of double-immunity – where a criminal president gets away with lawbreaking, brags about it (with countless lies), then escapes all legal liability if the next pliant yahoo approves. As a consequence, why wouldn’t the only doubly-impeached, multiply-indicted defendant, if re-elected, not fully enforce his authoritarian agenda, like poisoning his own DOJ to crush foes or making sweeping, illegal decisions? Absolute rulers would kill for such might-is-right privileges – and do.

What about Trump pardon resistance?

But wait. Strangely enough, Trump may object both to freebie pardon pledges and voter poaching timing. Can’t one imagine Trump’s sneering, off-stage dismissal of unneeded gifts from Haley and DeSantis?

What!? That nonsense not only figures I will be convicted of bogus charges (won’t happen, totally innocent), or that I won’t win the election (in the bag against senile, crooked Biden), and that one of these clowns will be elected (good luck on that and bad luck for the country). Pardons demand what I will never do: apologize or admit guilt. That’s because I did nothing wrong, still the one and only retribution guy. America’s true savior won’t be blocked by shills. MAGA.”

Whatever, for his suckers won’t hear Trump conceding even the prospects of conviction, thus deserving pardonable sentences. What if he makes an 11th hour deal and agrees to squelch more MAGA violence? What if literally imprisoning this felonious insurrectionist will be hard to manage? What if he gets off by pledging to never ever repeat serial violations? No hardcore MAGA nut in any case wants to hear that the perfect Trump could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So much more comforting to cling to scapegoat/ martyr manias. 

Don’t sleazy pardon promisers realize such reversals apply only to convicted criminals who make a full admission of crimes – thus cementing an unacceptably painful Trump legacy? By no logic will these losing candidates succeed in dislodging manic Trump voters. A wasted ploy, loaded with negative outcomes.

For example, consider the self-incriminating downsides for anyone seeking to be the nation’s top law enforcer: what else is a phony, politicized pardon that rejects federal juries, trials, and judges? While selective pardons offset presumably unjust convictions, premature, craven pardons for one individual is a direct attack on the system of justice. True, pardons have always had a political, if not unsavory twist, rank partisanship by which a chief executive pays off friendly lackeys for services rendered. Bill Clinton made such payoffs, and Trump’s White House never hid its virtual bribery scheme, another unprincipled “let’s make a deal” machination. Haley and DeSantis need their own pardon for showing they are no less partisan or immoral than the yahoo they promise to shield. 

Dishonestly playing the future

Further stunner: by what possible logic does an office seeker promise a (blind) pardon so far advance of a trial, oblivious to compelling evidence, let alone a conviction or sentence? Trump commits the same outrages, openly immunizing his outlaw lackeys before they get caught breaking more rules. How do reckless, mostly ignorant pardon promisers have a clue what evidence will emerge and the full horror of Trump’s criminal reach? 

Indeed, what if hard proof suggests Trump ordered someone’s unjustified torture or worse, perhaps helping cover up the death of the American journalist assassinated by Saudi Arabia? What if the Ukrainian blackmail scheme (thus the first impeachment) was only one of many, some that worked? No one with character or savvy risks being an enabler of a criminal whose heart could be made darker by so many trials? That strikes me as both stupid and immoral– misusing a WH privilege without a clue about facts, reality or outcomes. Are Haley and DeSantis so out of touch they don’t realize nothing stops Trump from his self-serving nastiness?

Finally there are the further systemic insults to our justice system, lowering America’s status as the world’s most powerful democracy. Chris Christie makes that clear, railing against advanced pardon pledges, especially when they violate an untouchable value. Pardoning Trump, Christie said last week would signal “two systems of justice: One for all of us and one for the most powerful. If we allow that to happen as a country, we would be no better — no better — than a lot of these tinpot democracies around the world who treat the privileged different than they treat everyday citizens.”

And where does that leave us? Finding a Republican nominee who doesn’t merit disqualification just got harder after heinous pardon pledges for a Trump guiltier than sin. If anything disqualifies any lead GOP candidates, like Haley and DeSantis, how about the gratuitous, ham-fisted promises of pardons that gain them little electoral traction but cost their reputations a great deal, at least for centrist voters? What smart candidates stumble into self-destructive mode, immune from knowing smart pandering from dumb pandering. Scratch off Haley and DeSantis: doubling-down to deliver double-immunity is a general election loser, if either gets that far.

FALL FUNDRAISER

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